SUMMERSIDE - The federal government along with the Atlantic provinces and the tourism industry have partnered in a three-year renewal of funding for the Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership (ACTP).
The $19,950,000 agreement is designed to boost Atlantic Canada’s stature as a leading travel destination.
ACTP promotes Atlantic Canada as a vacation destination in the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the next three years, the pan-Atlantic partnership will focus on “being market-driven, strategic, efficient and innovative.”
“We’ve made a commitment to commit $837,000 over the three-year agreement that will contribute to the Atlantic Tourism Partnership which will go out market Atlantic Canada as a premier destination for international potential visitors,” said P.E.I. Tourism Minister Robert Henderson.
The targets for the campaign are the U.S., Europe, the U.K., as well as China.
Henderson said including China in the mix helps follow up with some of the things that the province has done in the Chinese market with respect to the trade missions that the premier has led, as well as the prime minister promoting Anne of Green Gables in China.
“We think Prince Edward Island is going to fair very well in that because we think we have some of the premier tourism destinations,” the minister said. “No matter where a visitor arrives from, whether they come to Halifax, whether they come to Charlottetown or whatever, usually there are some cross-jurisdictional opportunities that exist. If a visitor comes to Nova Scotia, they may want to come over to P.E.I. and try some golf or the beaches too. They may come to P.E.I and drive through New Brunswick to get to the U.S. So, it’s just a way to try to take what limited dollars we all have, pool them together and carry more weight within the international market place identifying P.E.I. as part of a tourism package.”
Henderson said by taking part in the ACTP it is making more tourists available to Island tourism operators.
“If we can get visitors to come to Atlantic Canada, that doesn’t mean the province of P.E.I. still doesn’t do what it can do to promote Prince Edward Island as a destination from within that,” he said.
Henderson said the European market is sizable and has great potential for Atlantic Canada and Prince Edward Island.
“We’re already seeing some benefits out of Europe,” he said. “We think that Atlantic Canada, and especially Prince Edward Island, is a very safe destination. Some of the cruise packages seem to be very successful.”
He said additional promotion and marketing might bring some of them back for future visits.
“If we never get them from those jurisdictions you’ll never get them to the local tourism associations,” Henderson said. “It’s a multi-faceted approach and this is one of the pieces of the puzzle.”